In This Review

The Perfect Failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower and The CIA at the Bay of Pigs
The Perfect Failure: Kennedy, Eisenhower and The CIA at the Bay of Pigs
By Trumbull Higgins
Norton, 1987, 224 pp

Often the passage of time makes the mistakes of yesteryear more understandable and thus forgivable. But this compact study of the Bay of Pigs debacle of 1961, synthesizing previous scholarship and making good use of archives, tells us that the latest word on it is the worst. Seldom in American history have the architects of folly been so intellectually irresponsible and procedurally screwed-up. The failure was "perfect" in that no step which might have prevented or mitigated the disaster was taken.